Locations > LG Health Physicians > Seasonal Advice > Winter
Winter Health Tips
If you feel Jack Frost nipping at your nose, it’s not your imagination. Winter is here, along with cold-weather activities, seasonal celebrations and unique health and safety issues. If you’re looking for ways to stay safe and well, you’ve come to the right place. And don’t forget that the doctors and staff at your local Lancaster General Health Physicians practice are here for you all year long.
Why does flu like winter?
The virus that causes influenza, or flu, spreads through the air—and it seems to live longer in the cold, dry air of winter. The best way to protect yourself is to get an annual flu vaccination. Many locations offer them, but some insurance plans will only cover vaccines administered in a medical setting. See your doctor about getting a flu shot or nasal spray flu vaccine.
Stay safe while shoveling snow
Shoveling snow can be good exercise, but it can be dangerous to overdo it. The National Safety Council suggests taking it slow, using a small shovel, shoveling only powder and lifting with you legs, not your back. Don’t shovel after eating or while smoking, take a break if you get winded and stop if you feel tightness in your chest. If you have a history of heart trouble, get your doctor’s permission before tackling the snow.
Dark days bring you down?
If winter makes you feel blue, you’re not alone. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression associated with shorter days. If you’ve lost energy and interest in work or hobbies, are eating or sleeping more than usual, or feel hopeless, ask you doctor if it might be SAD. Diet, exercise, anti-depressant medications and light therapy might help brighten things up.
Don’t let Jack Frost nip at your nose
One of the dangers of overexposure to the cold is frostbite, which damages the skin and can also harm underlying tissues. You may be especially vulnerable if you smoke, have diabetes of peripheral vascular disease (PVD) or take beta blockers. If you’re outside, wear warm, wind-proof, water-resistant clothing, and wear a hat, scarf and mittens. Seek medical help if exposed skin is numb, itching, aching or throbbing, or if blisters form.
Take time to talk about your health
Routine annual physical exams may help catch problems before they become serious. The wellness exam also gives you a chance to ask your doctor about any concerns, and gives you and your doctor an opportunity to talk about strategies to help you live a healthier life. If you don’t have a family doctor, click here to find one.
Avoid holiday weight gain
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Americans gain about a pound in the six weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s—but the problem is, most never take it off. That adds up. This holiday season, snack on raw veggies or fruit before heading to a party, fill your plate two-thirds full of vegetables, be careful with alcohol and calorie-rich beverages—and stick to your exercise schedule. You’ll find you have one less New Year’s resolution.
Manage Your Health Online
- Request an appointment
- Request prescription refills
- View test results
- Email your doctor's office
To search all physicians affiliated with LG Health or for a full listing of specialties, please click here.